Monday, March 30, 2009

Mailbox Monday

I had a few books come in this week and they are sitting happily on my shelves waiting to be read!

The Silver Swan by Benjamin Black
I received this from the publisher (Picador) through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.
"In this stunning follow-up to 2007's Christine Falls, Black (pseudonym of Booker Prize–winner John Banville) spins a complex tale of murder and deception in 1950s Ireland. Pathologist Garret Quirke, surprised by a visit from a college acquaintance, Billy Hunt, is even more surprised when Billy begs Quirke not to perform an autopsy on his wife, Deirdre, whose naked body was recently retrieved from Dublin Bay. Though everything points to suicide, Quirke knows something's amiss and begins to retrace Deirdre's steps. Black expertly balances Quirke's investigation with chapters detailing Deidre's past, from her marriage to Billy to her shady business deal with Leslie White, an enigmatic Englishman who knew Deidre as Laura Swan, the proprietress of their joint venture, a beauty salon called the Silver Swan. As Quirke digs deeper, he discovers a web of lies and blackmail that threatens to envelop even his own estranged daughter, Phoebe. Laconic, stubborn Quirke makes an appealing hero as the pieces of this unsettling crime come together in a shocking conclusion." from Publishers Weekly
I have a question for anyone who may know the answer. I didn't realize this was a sequel to Christine Falls. Do I need to read Christine Falls first?

The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch by Neil Gaiman
I have never been a big fan of graphic novels, but this adaption of a Gaiman short story intrigued me.
"Gaiman reenlists the remarkable artist who made Creatures of the Night (2004) so staggeringly beautiful. Here Michael Zulli visualizes a much better story from Smoke and Mirrors (1998), which was excluded from its American edition. In it, a fantasy writer much like Gaiman recalls a strange night in London. Prodded out by an old pal and his wife, he meets their biogeologist acquaintance, Miss Finch, at dinner and goes with them to an odd, animal-free circus performing in the cellars underneath the train tracks near Southwark Cathedral. The audience is ambulatory, passing from one chamber to another to see various ostensibly spooky acts; scientifically skeptical Miss Finch is not amused. In the next-to-last room, Miss Finch is pulled away, stoutly protesting, by a performer who says her most ardent wish will be granted in the ninth room. It is. In his characteristic crisp pen-and-ink and watercolor, Zulli has a field day with the garish, freakish, ultimately animal (after all) circus denizens, and he renders regular London interiors and exteriors as gorgeously fore and aft of the circus sequence. --Ray Olson" from Booklist
Join Marcia at The Printed Page each Monday for Mailbox Monday!


  1. I love Gaiman and I see several other bloggers have received the Swan book this week. Happy reading!

  2. I haven't read anything by Neil Gaiman yet because I get creeped out easily. A graphic novel might be an easy way to test the waters though.

  3. Thank you for stopping by the mailbox this week. Enjoy your books!

  4. I haven't read the graphic novel version of the Miss Finch story but I love the Frank Frazetta painting, Cave Girl, that inspired the story and the story itself is fantastic. It is even more fantastic to listen to Neil Gaiman read it.

  5. Carl V.: I'll have to look for the audio of Neil Gaiman reading it. Thanks for the tip!